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The Famous Five review at C Chambers Street, Edinburgh – ‘lashings of fun and heaps of adventure’

The cast of The Famous Five. Photo: Shaun Conway

There’s lashings of fun and heaps of inventive adventure to be had in Gobbledigook Theatre’s hands-on adaptation of Enid Blyton’s Famous Five.

George, Dick, Anne and Julian are busy packing the chaotic stage – Kirrin Cottage is being sold and they are all leaving to become adults. Sam Gannon’s bossy Dick is trying to hurry them away but Michal Horowicz’s tomboy George persuades them to reminisce one last time about how they met and their first adventure together.

Besides, there’s a whole audience full of willing volunteers to help create the sea around Kirrin Island, be licked by Ed Wren’s bouncy, raggedy puppet dog Timmy and get soaked by the storms.

Delivered in a perfectly enunciated RP, but using more modern conventions of theatre, this both harks back to a time when children could play outside with few constraints, and frames it in a world of make believe. The story is as built on retro stereotype as ever, and is set in a Peter Pan world where children have knowledge and stay children forever while adults either don’t understand or are actively malicious.

But what this lacks in depth, it makes up for in its power to create a new world on stage and tell its story with enthusiasm and conviction.

Verdict
Inventive recreation of Enid Blyton's adventure yarn

Production

Production
The Famous Five
Venue
C Chambers Street, Edinburgh
Starts
August 1, 2018
Ends
August 27, 2018
Authors
Enid Blyton
Adaptation
Alexander Wright, Phil Grainger, Sam Gannon, Tori Klays, Robert Heard, Rosie Brear
Director
Alexander Wright
Design
Ed Wren (puppet)
Set
Ed Wren
Lighting
Rachel Sampley
Sound
Rachel Sampley
Cast includes
Sam Gannon, Tori Klays, Michal Horowicz, Naail Ishaq
Producer
Phil Grainger, Gobbledigook Theatre
Running time
1hr